New Jersey Youth Corps
New Jersey Youth Corps is one of the largest youth service and conservation corps in the United States. Youth Corps is a year-round, voluntary program that engages young adults (ages 16 to 25) in full-time community service, training, and educational activities. Guided by staff who serve as mentors and role models, teams of youth called "crews" carry out a wide range of service projects. In return for their efforts to restore and strengthen communities, Corpsmembers receive:
- Education development in basic skills and assistance in obtaining a high school equivalency diploma or locally issued adult high school diploma
- Life skills and employability skills instruction
- Personal and career counseling to build self-esteem, clarify values, and develop leadership skills while developing a career portfolio
- Transition services and continuing support services for transitioning to college, training, employment, or other national and domestic service opportunities
- Community service opportunities, which develop positive employability skills while addressing unmet community needs. Corpsmembers receive a stipend while enrolled in Youth Corps
To restore and preserve the dignity of young adults who have been underserved, and enhance their value to society by providing a comprehensive program of academic instruction and community service that form a solid foundation upon which to build a brighter future.
Participants work in crews of 6 to 10 with a paid crew supervisor who sets and models clear standards of behavior. Community service projects give youth, who have little or no real employment history, an opportunity to develop positive employability skills while addressing unmet community needs.
Youth Corps crews work on a wide range of work projects. Many are similar to the forestry and park projects of the Civilian Conservation Corps; others fill gaps in the services of urban parks, renovate housing, and assist human service agencies. All projects meet community needs and allow young people to serve as community resources. Projects also combine academics with work in a service-learning approach. Corpsmembers receive a stipend for their valuable work in the community.
Personal and career counseling helps to remove barriers to employment and success. Corpsmembers participate in individual and group counseling to build self-esteem, clarify values, and develop leadership skills. Constant supportive counseling is integral to the New Jersey Youth Corps experience for every Corpsmember while they are developing their career portfolio and while transitioning after their experience ends.
New Jersey Youth Corps assists young adults in improving their scholastic performance. Half of the program's time is dedicated to developing the academic skills of Corpsmembers. Our instructional approach uses small group, total group, and individual assistance. It combines academics with career-related goals and community service activities in a service-learning approach. Besides improvement in basic education skills, education development can lead to Corpsmembers' obtaining a high school equivalency diploma or a locally issued adult high school diploma.
Corpsmembers who successfully complete the program receive college referral services, job placement assistance, personal portfolio development, follow-up, and help transitioning to further training or service programs.
Successful New Jersey Youth Corps programs build strong collaborations with local nonprofit agencies, government agencies, schools, training programs, and human service organizations. These collaborations allow Corpsmembers to access a variety of services necessary to eliminate barriers to their success.